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Court dismisses Indigenous challenges of Trans Mountain pipeline – National Observer

by ahnationtalk on February 4, 202022 Views

February 4th 2020

The Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion can proceed, even if Indigenous concerns still haven’t been addressed, because the Trudeau government consulted adequately with First Nations and the consultation process can’t be used as a veto, the Federal Court of Appeal said Tuesday.

The unanimous ruling by the three-judge panel found that the government’s second attempt at fulfilling its constitutional duty to consult meaningfully with Indigenous peoples was sufficient. It followed the court’s decision in August 2018 to quash the original approval of the pipeline.

“Contrary to what the applicants assert, this was anything but a rubber-stamping exercise,” reads the judgment, issued in downtown Ottawa on Feb. 4 by justices Marc Noël, Denis Pelletier and John Laskin.

The government’s second approval of the pipeline in June 2019 was not merely a ratification of the earlier approval, the court found, but came “directly from the renewed consultation.” Fulfilling all the wishes of the impacted First Nations, however, was unnecessary, it said.

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